One of the Twin Cities' best chefs has grand plans for the downtown Minneapolis restaurant. 
Jamie Malone Eastside
Credit: Isabel Subtil

A 2013 Food & Wine Best New Chef, Jamie Malone has been up to quite a bit since her high-profile relaunch of the Grand Cafe, which we named a 2018 Best Restaurant of the Year. As of this week, Malone has taken over Eastside, a restaurant located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, and she has characteristically grand plans.

The restaurant's new French-inspired menu debuted on Monday, with Grand Cafe's Sam Marshall acting as GM and overseeing the beverage menu, which will highlight punches, low-ABV cocktails, bottled martinis, craft beer, and wine at a variety of price points. Many of the dishes—like the Plateau de Fruits de Mer—and the cocktails—like the Bonal Spritz, served in a golden swan—are designed to share.

That's right: the menu includes a large-format Spritz served inside of a golden swan. Another showstopper? The whole wood roasted duck, which is one of Malone's favorites. It's cooked on the restaurant's live wood fire, and the legs are confited, with the whole duck served on a Lazy Susan alongside Chinese and French mustard and braised cabbage.

"The energy is kind of downtown chic,” Malone tells Food & Wine. “The space is really big and beautiful, and it's kind of the opposite of the Grand Cafe. That’s fun—to have two things that are very different from each other, and to be able to do a lot of similar things. We’re still us, as we are at Grand. But to flip it on its head and do it in a different way? That's exciting."

As Malone and her team have only been at Eastside a few weeks, she says she'll continue making little tweaks to the menu; she wants the transition to be an evolution, "not a one-day thing." Brunch is coming, too.

"It’s worthy of a night out," says Malone. "A place to go out with your girlfriends and get dressed up and wear some glitter."

In April, we announced that the magnificent, sweet-and-savory Paris-Brest at Grand Cafe, one of our 2018 Restaurants of the Year, was our favorite dish of the year.

Eastside, 305 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415. (612) 208-1638.